After the meeting, Don complains to Mack about her cutting two segments of his, “Pop Watch” and “Today On YouTube” – although he says the reason for his complaint is that they’re two of the show’s highest rated segments. Mack tells him to put them on his show at 10:00. Don counters that there won’t be anyone watching at 10:00 if she leads with “The Will McAvoy Makes You Eat Your Vegetables Hour”. Mack isn’t listening, because she’s seen Olivia Munn doing a segment on the global market.
She watches ‘Sloan Sabbith’, which as my sister points out is probably Sorkin’s weirdest name choice since Elsie Snuffin, finish the segment. Then she introduces herself. They walk-and-talk through the bullpen into Mack’s office while Mack asks Sloan a few follow-ups about what she said. It all leads to Mack asking her if she wants a prime time segment on Mack’s show. Sloan is reluctant at first because she doesn’t think she’s qualified enough but Mack wants her specifically – partly because she’s attractive while knowing what she’s talking about. Sloan seems to agree that could be fun. They get ready to part ways, and then Sloan almost casually tells Mack they have something in common: she had a boyfriend who cheated on her, too. Mack is bewildered. Finally she realizes that Sloan – and with her, the rest of the newsroom – thinks that Will and Mack broke up because he cheated on her; therefore, they think he’s an ass, as well. Mack tries to convince Sloan that he never cheated on her and he’s not an ass. Without being able to say what really happened, though, it comes off rather desperate and protesting too much. She tells Sloan to spread it around that Will is actually a very nice guy – “the good guy”, in fact and there’s more to the story that Mack can’t say. Sloan says she will, and then Mack correctly divines that she means she won’t.
Jim informs Maggie that he’ll be prepping her for her pre-interview with the spokesperson for the governor of Arizona, who is coming on the show to talk about the bill. She defensively retorts that she can do it herself. Jim just wants to help her practice the phone interview, although he also asks if she’s really considering moving to 10:00 with Don. Maggie responds by accusing him of all kinds of condescending, sexist motives. Their argument/banter is hilarious and Sorkin-y in a way that does my heart good. As an example, he wants to know why she’s being so mean to him, and she admits that she doesn’t know but she doesn’t feel like she’s going to stop anytime soon. After a practice phone call in which she purposefully asks the wrong questions and interjects her own opinions (including a speech about why the term ‘illegals’ for people who have entered the country without proper paperwork is degrading), Jim realizes that she can probably handle the interview and leaves her to it.
Out on the street, Reese walks and talks with Will about the numbers. It’s a retread of the conversation in Charlie’s office plus Will informing Reese what Mack said about where the show is going now. Reese doesn’t like this direction. Will is definitely tempted to do what Reese’s ratings suggest he should, but he also stands firm for Mack and doesn’t allow Reese to denigrate her at all. This causes Reese to swear and stalk off.
Meanwhile, an irate Jim confronts Maggie, wanting to know why the Arizona governor’s office has suddenly reversed their earlier plans and decided not let anyone on News Night interview them. Maggie insists she didn’t let her personal feelings get in the way. Then Jim reveals that the spokesperson, Glenn Fisher, told him Glenn and Maggie dated in college. Oh, dear. This leads to Maggie’s explanation of why their fourth date happened to be relevant to the phone interview she just had with him. It’s a hilariously inappropriate story for her to be telling her boss, although it’s actually not hilarious because it turns out Glenn was a gigantic jerk to her. Maggie used this rather cuttingly against him in the interview, and that was that. Jim is frustrated with her both for blowing the interview and for not sticking up for herself during the events of the story. That is SO Josh and Donna. Like, seriously. By the way, during this whole shebang, Neal is in the background making awesome “I can’t believe I have to hear this” faces. I heart Dev Patel.